When you or a loved one are around a dog, the last thing you expect to happen is that the dog will bite you and cause some kind of injury. However, dog bite incidents are not uncommon in and around the Seattle area. At Russell & Hill, PLLC, our dog bite lawyers in Seattle are here to help if you or a loved one had been injured. How difficult is it to prove negligence in these cases? Do you even have to prove negligence?
Proving liability in a dog bite injury case
If you or a loved one are bitten by a dog and sustained significant injuries, you may wonder what steps you need to take to prove your injuries and that they were caused by the negligence of the dog’s owner. As opposed to other personal injury cases in which negligence must be proven, Washington operates under a different system concerning dog bites.
Under the Revised Code of Washington section 16.08.040, we can see that this is a “strict liability” dog bites state. This means that a dog owner can be held liable for a dog by injury if the victim:
- Was in a public place or lawfully or lawfully in a private place at the time of the bite, and
- The victim did not provoke the dog
The dog bite law in Washington varies from other states, where a bite victim has to prove that the dog owner knew or had reason to know that the dog was dangerous or that the dog had bitten somebody before. It is important to point out that this strict liability law only covers injuries that are directly caused by the bite. If a dog knocks somebody over and that person breaks their arm, this type of injury does not fall under the strict liability law.
Injuries from dog bites can be incredibly severe. According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we know that around 20% of all dog bite victims (around 800,000 people) require medical attention each year. Some of the most common injuries that our Seattle dog bite attorneys help clients with include the following:
- Significant damage to soft tissue (puncture wounds and lacerations)
- Broken bones in the hands and fingers
- Possible amputations of fingers
- Severed ligaments, veins, tendons, and arteries
Unfortunately, dog bite injuries can lead to significant scarring or disfigurement for victims. Not only could this require extensive reconstructive surgery, but it can also affect a victim’s emotional and psychological health.
Let our Seattle dog bite attorney help you today
If you or somebody you love has been bitten and injured by a dog, you may need to seek legal assistance in order to recover compensation. At Russell & Hill, PLLC, our qualified and experienced team is ready to investigate your case so we can secure the following on your behalf:
- Coverage of your dog bite-related medical bills
- Any lost wages if you could not work while you recover
- Mental anguish damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- General out-of-pocket household expenses